What’s your brand of home printer? That’s basically the question in Yugatech’s current poll of the week; “What’s your Home Printer of choice?”
As of this writing, the leading choice by voters so far is HP with 26 votes followed by Epson with 21 votes. Brother is 4th behind Cannon with 19 and 4 votes respectively. I don’t mean to preempt Yuga’s analysis of the survey, I’ll leave that to his expertise and besides, the poll isn’t finished yet.
I’d just like to give an insight as to why the Brother brand is hardly the choice for home printers. This is not a full review but a summary based on the 10 months I’ve got the chance of using because it is the default printer of La Salle Dasma’s University Student Council and most of the other offices in the university.
When I joined the USC last June, it was my first time to encounter and use the Brother printer. I joked that maybe the reason why this seems to be the ‘default’ office printer of DLSU-D is because the school is headed by a La Salle Brother. (Corny ba?) Or in some occassions, I joked that that Brother brand is secretly owned by the La Salle Brothers which is why it is the default printer in La Salle schools. 😛
Anyways, the Brother printer is a good printer in terms of print quality, speed of print-outs and functionality. The model in the USC office is the Brother MFC-425CN which is a Colour Inkjet Flatbed 6-in-1 Multi-Function Centre. Here’s a summary from its product page from the Brother, the printer, website:
The MFC-425cn is a standalone fax machine which offers a unique low-profile design, making it ideal for even the most space-conscious home environment. It uses a convenient front-loading paper tray.
The Network ready MFC-425cn offers black printing up to 20ppm and color printing up to 15ppm at resolutions up to 6,000 x 1,200 dpi, Borderless Printing, Flatbed Color Copying, Flatbed Color Scanning, Color Fax and PC Faxing (send only).
It also includes the PhotoCapture Center? feature to print high quality color pictures from the most popular digital camera media cards (Memory Stick?, CompactFlash?, SmartMedia?, xD-Picture Card? and Secure Digital? cards) with or without a PC.
Like I said, it’s a good model. But as what the title of this post says, I’ll not buy it for home use. Why so?
All for one, and one for all
Ever since the all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/copier/kitchen sink-type of printers came out, I had this little paranoia based on this trend: when it gets broken, it’s cheaper to buy a new one instead of taking it to the shop for repairs which could worsen things and increase your expenses. So in an all-in-one platform, if one particular part suffers a failure or screws things up, it could kill the entire printer. So I stuck to a regular stand-alone ink-jet printers from HP and bought a separate flatbed scanner. Besides, I don’t need a copier in a home setting?
All for one, and one for all…also for the ink
The Brother printer uses 4 individual ink cartridges: Blue, Yellow, Magenta, and Black. Here’s the thing that we hate the most about the Brother printer: once any of the ink cartridges runs dry (usually the black ink), the printer stops printing all together! Even if the other cartridges still have plenty of ink in them, it would just not print at all.
What ever happened to the color-substitution/mixing trick that most other printers have? My HP and Lexmark printers can still print out documents and photos even if one ink cartridge is empty, all it does is to substitute with the remaining colors available, even mixing them to almost match the missing color hue. This feature saves up on ink and does not put our work to a standstill.
But not the Brother printer. It refuses to cooperate with us and screams out for a replacement ink cartridge. True the student council has some deep pockets but we intend to use it for more productive things like scholarships instead of printing out memos and letters to feed the redundant, snail-paced and absurd bureaucracy in DLSUD.
Am I being too harsh?
Or maybe this particular model of Brother printer was really meant for office use and not in our homes because the office could afford to buy a new ink cartridge every time the Brother printer says so. Still, it could be a strain in the company’s expenses more so in the family’s pockets as well.
It’s sad that for a good printer, a fundamental flaw ruins the whole thing. Anyone else using the Brother printer?